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Idaho Supreme Court Hears Micron Price-fixing Case


BOISE, Idaho (AP) ¿ The Idaho Supreme Court heard arguments Friday on whether a shareholder's lawsuit against Micron Technology Inc.'s board of directors should be allowed to proceed.

The lawsuit, brought by Scott Orrock on behalf of the company, contends that Micron CEO, President and Chairman Steven Appleton and several members of the board participated in a price-fixing scheme starting in 2000, and that the board failed to correct the behavior or hold anyone responsible for years.

Micron, a Boise-based major producer of computer chips, has faced legal problems over allegations that it worked with other companies to fix the price of dynamic random-access memory chips, or DRAM.

Micron was granted immunity by the U.S. Justice Department during an investigation into whether chip companies conspired to manipulate the number of DRAM chips released to market in order to inflate prices. That investigation resulted in more than $730 million in fines and guilty pleas from four companies ¿ Samsung Electronics Co., Elpida Memory Inc., Infineon Technologies AG and Hynix Semiconductor Inc.

Although Micron was given immunity from criminal charges, it was not protected from civil lawsuits. In 2007, Micron settled a federal class-action lawsuit on behalf of customers that alleged price-fixing and violations of antitrust laws. Micron has also been named in an antitrust lawsuit filed by at least 35 states, including Idaho.
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